Toronto Maple Leafs Office
Coach: Sir. It’s too risky. The fanbase won’t understand. They’ll riot. We can’t do it.
GM: We have no choice. We must do it.
2016 NHL Draft
GM: With the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The Toronto Maple Leafs are proud to select, Auston Matthews.
::The crowd is stunned. Some Maple Leafs fans begin hurling their cups and wrappers at the stage::
TV Analyst #1: I can’t believe it. What are they thinking?
TV Analyst #2: They actually did it.
::Matthews walks onto the stage and accepts his jersey. He looks down at the Maple Leaf logo and smiles::
Reporter: Why did you take…him with the #1 overall pick?
GM: He was the best player available.
GM: But, what?
Reporter: You run the Toronto Maple Leafs. The pride of Canada.
GM: Auston, we want to be upfront with you. You know why we drafted you. We haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. We haven’t won a playoff series since 2004. We were an embarrassment last year. Canada produces the best players in the world, but those players are playing in America. We simply can’t keep losing our best players to American markets. We thought Steven Stamkos would come home, but he stayed in Florida. They have sun and beaches. Simply put, we’re sick of Canadians staying in America and leading American teams to Stanley Cup glory. That’s why we drafted you. If they’re going to take our best talent, we’re going to take their best talent.
Coach: We think, nay, we know that you’re the best talent America has to offer. You were better than everyone on Team USA at the World Cup. You are a true American hero. You weren’t born in Minnesota or North Dakota or some other American city where hockey is popular. You were born in Arizona. I didn’t even know they had ice in Arizona. But that didn’t stop you from following your dream of being the greatest NHL player to ever lace up a pair of skates.
Reporter: Auston, how do you feel, as an American, about being drafted by a team from Canada?
::Matthews gives a smirk::
Canadian Teammate: It’s a joke is what it is. An American thinking he can come up here to Canada and be some sort of savior. Didn’t management learn anything from the last time they thought an American could save this team? How did that work out? He went back to America with his dog tucked between his bun.
::The reporter is uncomfortable and slowly exits::
TV Analyst #1: I just don’t see how it works. He’s American. They can say what they want, but at the end of the day, he’s still American. When was the last time an American helped Canada? It’s never happened in the history of sports.
TV Analyst #2: This isn’t just any American, though. This is Auston Matthews. People are touting him as the Michael Jordan of hockey. I know it seems farfetched, but if there’s any American that can carry a Canadian team, wouldn’t it be this kid?
TV Analyst #1: There are so many things wrong with your statement. The Michael Jordan of hockey, what does that even mean? Michael Jordan tried playing another sport. It didn’t work. I’d imagine that if he tried to play hockey, he’d fail at that as well. Carry the team? Listen, Matthews might help the team. But carry them? Let’s not forget that the Maple Leafs are coached by a Canadian, their best defenseman is Canadian, and all their best players are Canadian.
TV Analyst #2: How about James Van Riemsdyk?
TV Analyst #1: How about him? He’s another American who thought he could come to Canada and be a star. Name me one good thing Van Riemsdyk has done for Toronto. I’ll wait.
Reporter: Phil, do you have any advice for Auston Matthews in Toronto?
Phil: Good luck.
Coach: Alright guys. This is it. Opening night. I don’t have to tell you how important this game is. Go out there….
Canadian Player: Coach, I’m sorry, but I can’t stand for this. This…American. Coming in here and thinking he’s going to takeover the team and the league. This just isn’t right. I’m sorry, but if he plays, the rest of us sit.
Coach: Do you all feel this way?
::All Canadian players nod in agreement. The non-Canadians, including Americans, take a seat as well. Matthews remains standing::
Coach: Fine. So be it. Auston, it looks like it’s just us.
::Matthews and Coach head out of the locker room and onto the ice to face the Ottawa Senators. Matthews scores four goals, but loses 5-4 in OT::
TV Analyst #1: I can’t believe it. Auston Matthews went out there and almost won the game, literally by himself. His teammates stayed in the locker room. He had no linemates, no defense, no goaltending. And he still managed to force overtime against a Canadian team. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that. We truly just witnessed history. Count me as a believer after this game. Auston Matthews, I’m sorry.
Reporter: Auston, how are you feeling after your first game?
Canadian Teammate: He probably feels exhausted. He just played 60 minutes by himself against a NHL team. He proved that he could carry this team by himself. We should have been there with him. We were so blinded by his nationality that we ignored everything else about him. I’m proud to call this man my teammate and I’m sorry that I stayed in the locker room.
Teammate: I stand with Auston.
Teammate: I stand with Auston.
::Every member of the Toronto Maple Leafs roster stands up and salutes Auston Matthews::